While Meyer Family Vineyards may not be the biggest winery in the Okanagan Valley — far from it, in fact — the quality and consistency of the wines they produce means they punch well above their weight class. In fact, weight is not something you’ll find in most of the Okanagan Falls winery’s wines — rather, JAK and Janice Meyer and their team (lead by winemaker Chris Carson) prefer to work with cooler-climate, lighter-bodied wines such as Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Riesling, Gewürztraminer and the like. And in doing so they consistently create wines with restraint, elegance, balance and grace.
Those qualities are typically found in wines from France’s Burgundy region, one of the primary inspirations for Meyer Family Vineyards. It comes as no surprise, then, that much of their portfolio is made up of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. This month, Meyer Family Vineyards is proud to be the featured winery for our lucky wine club members. Check out which wines you'll receive this month and subscribe by Sunday, Jan. 15!
This past year has been particularly fruitful for Meyer Family Vineyards as it pertains to awards and recognition. In April 2016, their 2013 McLean Creek Road Vineyard Pinot Noir was the lone Canadian Pinot Noir to be deemed both “highly recommended” and a top value in Decanter magazine’s profile of Pinot from outside of Burgundy.
If you’re wondering what all the hype is about, you’re in luck. The 2014 vintage of the Meyer Family Vineyards Mclean Creek Road Pinot Noir is one of the wines featured in My Wine Canada’s Wine of the Month Club.
The McLean Creek Road Pinot is sourced from a single 6.9-hectare vineyard in Okanagan Falls, and delivers ripe cherry, earth, herbal and light spice notes on the nose. It’s a light-bodied, elegant yet vibrant red, with the bright red berry and plum notes working in harmony with complex black tea, earth and leaf notes and some modest tannin. Let it open up in the glass for a bit or cellar for a few years.
Meyer Family Vineyards also did quite well at the 2016 WineAlign National Wine Awards of Canada, taking home four gold medals as well as two silvers and two bronzes. That was enough hardware to earn them third place among B.C. wineries, third among all small wineries in Canada and fifth place overall.
And while it’s not a single-vineyard red — it’s sourced from vines throughout the Okanagan Valley — the 2014 Okanagan Valley Pinot Noir still earned Meyer one of their four golds. The 2015 Okanagan Valley Pinot Noir available through My Wine Canada is by all accounts just as good as the previous vintage. Because of the heat of the 2015 vintage, there’s plenty of ripe raspberry and cherry notes that come through, with a pretty violet note and a hat-tip to the complex Old World reds of Burgundy. For those who like their Pinot with a little less earth and funk, this is the wine for you.
A quick hop over to the white wine side of things and wine lovers are in for an equally fab treat. Only a few hundred cases of the Meyer Family Vineyards 2015 McLean Creek Road Chardonnay were produced, and it sings in the glass. All the energy and verve of a young Chablis are here: red apple skin, fresh pear, lemon zest, chalkiness, a hint of vanilla and more. It’s certainly not a fleshy, overripe Chardonnay. Au contraire — this white manages to balance the energy and elegance of the fruit with a restraint in the oak department.
Get in on our Wine of the Month Club and get these stellar Okanagan Falls wines delivered to your door sooner rather than later.
Ben MacPhee-Sigurdson is the wine columnist and literary editor for the Winnipeg Free Press. He’s on Twitter and Instagram at @bensigurdson.